Is your little one already tired of PB&J? The American Heart Association offers these tips:
- Pack hummus with fresh veggies and whole wheat pita triangles or flatbreads for dipping. Hummus is a good low-fat protein source and is high in iron and vitamin C. Or try low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese with carrots, cherry tomatoes, fresh berries or melon for a calcium-rich, high-protein lunch.
- Salads topped with lean protein like hard-boiled eggs, beans or chicken are a great alternative to sandwiches, and they help get kids on track with their daily vegetable servings. In a hurry? Buy bags of lettuce or precut carrots or make extra salad for dinner then pack the leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Didn’t pack a lunch? There are many options to choose from in the lunch line at school, but some of them are healthier than others. Encourage kids to choose fruits and vegetables instead of fries or chips and ask for grilled meat instead of fried.
“Check the school lunch menu and choose a healthier day for your kids to buy lunch,” says nutritionist Vicki Koenig.